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Gravitational waves, Einstein’s ripples in spacetime, spotted for first time

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Comparison with computer simulations reveals that the wave came from two objects 29 and 36 times as massive as the sun spiraling to within 210 kilometers of each other before merging. Only a black hole—which is made of pure gravitational energy and gets its mass through Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2—can pack so much mass into so little space, says Bruce Allen, a LIGO member at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hanover, Germany. The observation provides the first evidence for black holes that does not depend on watching hot gas or stars swirl around them at far greater distances. “Before, you could argue in principle whether or not black holes exist,” Allen says. “Now you can’t.”

The collision produced an astounding, invisible explosion. Modeling shows that the final black hole totals 62 solar masses—3 solar masses less than the sum of the initial black holes. The missing mass vanished in gravitational radiation—a conversion of mass to energy that makes an atomic bomb look like a spark. “For a tenth of a second [the collision] shines brighter than all of the stars in all the galaxies,” Allen says. “But only in gravitational waves.”

With the black hole merger, general relativity has passed the first such test, says Rainer Weiss, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, who came up with the original idea for LIGO. “The things you calculate from Einstein’s theory look exactly like the signal,” he says. “To me, that’s a miracle.”

The detection of gravitational waves marks the culmination of a decades-long quest that began in 1972, when Weiss wrote a paper outlining the basic design of LIGO. In 1979, the National Science Foundation funded research and development work at both MIT and Caltech, and LIGO construction began in 1994. The $272 million instruments started taking data in 2001, although it was not until the upgrade that physicists expected a signal.

If LIGO’s discovery merits a Nobel Prize, who should receive it? Scientists say Weiss is a shoo-in, but he demurs. “I don’t like to think of it,” he says. “If it wins a Nobel Prize, it shouldn’t be for the detection of gravitational waves. Hulse and Taylor did that.” Many researchers say other worthy recipients would include Ronald Drever, the first director of the project at Caltech who made key contributions to LIGO’s design, and Thorne, the Caltech theorist who championed the project. Thorne also objects. “The people who really deserve the credit are the experimenters who pulled this off, starting with Rai and Ron,” he says.

Meanwhile, other detections may come quickly. LIGO researchers are still analyzing data from their first observing run with their upgraded detectors, which ended 12 January, and they plan to start taking data again in July. A team in Italy hopes to turn on its rebuilt VIRGO detector—an interferometer with 3-kilometer arms—later this year. Physicists eagerly await the next wave.






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It's interesting to note in Isa 40:22 it says
There is One who dwells above the circle of the earth,

And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers. He is stretching out the heavens like a fine gauze,

And he spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

We read about the fabric of space /time and that the universe is constructed in a grid-like pattern.



Kind of like gauze, don't you think





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It is true that these topics do not  have much to do with spirituality ..  But it does point to understanding  a bit more about Jehovah's complex creation..

I appreciate how Jehovah uses laws that are predictable  and consistent. The truth is logical and the truth about the universe is logical.. It goes hand in hand.

It is not the knowledge that will lead to everlasting life but it broadens our over all appreciation for our creator.

Edited by Lance
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I'm not making a judgement about it.  Its just the way they think about stuff is always changing.  Till we get persons whom we can trust and want to understand things with the bible and creator in mind and who have faith.  I don't think that todays deeper science knowledge is that trust worthy.  i could be flat wrong;  lazy;  just not informed.  but every man is a lier if it contradicts what Jehovah says in his word.  one field that to me is absolute rubbish today is the psychology and pharmacy fields.  anyway.. i was just giving a biased opinion.

The world may have truths in it thats perfectly fine.  I always think of the proverb that says wisdom cry's out in the very streets.  also the book of creation is a form of knowledge about the creator.. so.... not making a judgement.. just abiased opinion...  mine.  a human...:ph34r:

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Richard ... Have no fear we won't shoot you for expressing an opinion  ... Yet ... :)

I always like your perspective on certain things .. You are not shy about contributing something to a conversation.. There is wisdom in a multitude of counsellors...  And a fresh perspective is  always a good thing ...:dance:...


Off topic

Just looking for a neat emoticon and the thumbs up came up .. It is interesting how hand signs have changed .. (tu)(td)

In gladiatorial times thumbs up meant off with the head .. Thumbs down was to spare the individual and drop the sword ..



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